I have said I am out of touch with America regarding what is expected for disaster relief. Maybe, but the people spreading the meme that the vast majority of who did not evacuate New Orleans did so because they simply chose to ignore the warnings are out of touch with reality. I just heard James Carville state that the Governor and Mayor did all they could, and that some people “just didn’t listen.”
That may very well be. ‘Some people’ probably didn’t listen, and instead chose to just weather the storm. But the vast majority of people who are stranded, and, I fear, dead in the flooded parts of NO in numbers we have not yet begun to discover and comprehend, did not ‘choose’ to ‘ignore’ the warnings.
They simply had no place to go, no way to get there, no way to afford living in a motel/hotel somewhere else, no relatives outside the region, no automobile. I know it is always funny to make fun of the “Hurricane Strikes- Poor Hit Hardest” headlines, but there is some truth to it.
Sure, a lot of the people interviewed on cable may say they just stayed because they have seen all sorts of hurricanes. They may say that. But I am willing to bet a lot of them are just saying that to save face. Ever been broke? And I mean, chronically, long-term, without ANY money, broke? It sucks, and it can be embarassing, and it isn’t likely most people are going to admit it. I know most of you are affluent, but was there never a time in college when all your friends were going somewhere, going to a concert, going out, going on Spring Break, and you wanted to go, but couldn’t? Instead of saying “I’m broke,” how many of you said something like “I’ve got better things to do,” or “I hate Florida,” or made some other excuse?
So while ignorance, stupidity, and a disregard for warnings may have played a role (probably a more prominent one in the coastal regions of Mississippi and Alabama), I am betting that tragically there is a whole other reason for why people ‘chose’ not to evacuate New Orleans.